Chief Cultural Officer Raymond Lawrence has said the newly opened Dominica Institute for the Arts (DIFA) is an essential tool for molding the younger generation of artists and at the same time promoting Dominica’s cultural heritage.
Lawrence was addressing the end of year closing ceremony of the DIFA at the Arawak House of Culture last night.
“The cultural Division and the National Cultural Council think that the DIFA is a very important project which provides opportunities for people to build their knowledge in the field of Arts and culture,” he said.
He noted an institution like the DIFA is important in today’s trend in globalization. “We think too, in addition to promoting well known artistes, we need to continuously train our young and upcoming artistes so that they too can improve their performing of visual arts skills. In that way we can continuously be producing a new generation of artists,” he said.
He said the Institute was a long standing dream finally coming to fruition.
“I want to begin by thanking God for helping what was once a dream to become a reality. It is said that the best dreams are the ones which you see come through. I am certainly happy to day to see that the establishments of the Dominica Institute for the Arts (DIFA) has become a reality, has successfully completed its first year of operations,” Lawrence stated.
Director for the DIFA Athelene Douglas-Murdock, who also gave an address at the ceremony, said the opening of the institute was a necessary initiative to provide training in the arts.
“The establishment of the institute in September 2012 was indeed representing a much needed initiative in training in all aspects of the arts,” she noted. “Many welcomed the opening of an umbrella institution which offered training of those who wished to study to peruse a career in the arts or even do short courses.”
14 courses were offered at the institute during its first year; 3 in visual arts, fine arts and wood cutting, and 10 in the performing arts, creative dance, ballet, drama, children’s choir, guitar, key board, drum kits, steel pan, flute, music theory and the creole language’.
Other courses such as recognizing a child’s creative potential and introduction to the visual arts were also offered.
Certificates were given as a record of participation, completion and achievement to 107 participants.
A donation of 35 recorders was also made by the Dominica Ontario Association of Canada to the Dominica Institute for the Arts.